Dreamworks cooks up sugar, spice, and everything nice to accidently create a rip-off version of The Smurfs
Do you want a movie about fluffy colorful characters in a world that looks like spilled paint bottles, glitter, and sprinkles? Now you have one top with mediocre covers of famous songs like “True Colors” and “Sound of Silences.” Sprinkles, cakes and neon aside, Trolls is exactly like The Smurfs if the tiny blue and white creatures would have been addicted to LSD.
The movie starts with Gargamel-type ogres called Bergens. These monsters are pale, sad individuals who need to eat trolls to be happy. A long time ago, they captured every troll and had made a day called Trollstice, where they can all eat trolls. The only problem is that now, the trolls have escaped and have relocated. They have been living this way for 20 years, and not one Bergen has found them. Poppy (Anna Kendrick) decides to celebrate their escape by throwing a careless loud party. Branch (Justin Timberlake) advise the Trolls that the party may not be a good idea as the Bergens can hear them.
To no surprise, one Bergen sees Poppy’s obnoxious firework and finds the Trolls. The Bergen kidnaps five trolls and brings them back to their king. This trauma sends Poppy and Branch on an adventure to Bergen Town to save their friends and be the happiest creatures in the world.
The animation and color pallet may be too in your face for some, but it’s sure to be captivating and cute to lots of people. The glitter, sparkles, and bright neon colors make the Trolls world come alive. The journey through striped spiders, fuzzy cotton candy monsters, and trippy LSD imagery is Trolls’ best feature. Your love for the movie greatly depends on its visuals, and they try hard to paint a fantastic neon happy world.
Colors and LSD cannot, however, compensate for the lack of an original storyline. The plot is similar to The Smurfs, and when the movie does deviate, it adopts a Cinderella-type storyline between two Bergens. The structure is predictable, and you can see every twist and turns. The predictability is likely due to the fact that it is the central message that guides the story and no real clever idea for a story were never brought to the table. The world-building and drug-trips had all the cleverness.
What ultimately becomes a flashy message in elsewhere contradicted. Trolls‘ philosophy on happiness is overtly simplistic and careless. To always be happy is what got them in trouble in the first time, but the movie never acknowledges this simple fact. Trolls never accomplished what Inside Out did so amazingly – finding a healthy medium between sadness and happiness. Instead, it ignores what made the central conflict happen to deliver a lazy message about happiness and optimism.
Kids will certainly love Trolls‘ obnoxious and flamboyant style. Parent, on the hand, may find it too by the book and a drug-trip not worth taking. Apart from the sparkly neon animation, Trolls has nothing new to offer from story to characters to songs. Dreamworks fails to re-capture the cleverness that made the Shrek franchise such a hit.